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Distance Standout Will Be First Male Hawk in 27 Years to Compete at NCAA Championships 


Jun. 3, 2013


PHILADELPHIA - Graduate student Kevin McDonnell (Moorestown, N.J./Camden Catholic) will represent Saint Joseph's men's track in the 10,000m at the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships this weekend. Hosted by the University of Oregon, the meet will take place at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. from June 5-8. McDonnell will compete this Thursday, June 6 at 7:15 p.m. PT (10:15 p.m. ET), and his race will be covered by ESPN3.


"I'm looking at it as another meet," said McDonnell of his first NCAA Championship opportunity. "I'm just trying to be really calm. Over the course of the last 10 days, I've been trying hard not to think about it...You can kind of psych yourself out if you think about it too much."


McDonnell qualified for his first NCAA Championship and SJU men's track's first NCAA Championship in 27 years with a sixth-place finish (29:59.82) at the East Region Preliminary Round in Greensboro, N.C. on May 23. He entered the meet ranked 10th on the East Region's declared list with a Saint Joseph's 10,000m-record time of 29:16.01, set at Bucknell's Bison Outdoor Classic back on May 13, and was one of 12 runners out of 48 total competitors from the East Region to qualify for the NCAA Championships.


"It was awesome," said McDonnell of qualifying with his sixth-place finish. "It was great. As soon as I crossed the line, I was preparing for the Championships."


McDonnell currently ranks 21st in the entire NCAA in his event, sitting just under 17 seconds away from the top ten. He becomes the first male runner in either indoor or outdoor track to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships since Steve Ave qualified in both indoor (1000m) and outdoor (1500m) in 1986.


"If the race is tactical, I'm fine with that this week," said McDonnell. "I would like to PR again, but if it goes out tactical, I would just like to be in the position to be an All-American. I just have to get in my rhythm early. In a PR sense, I have to look to run 69s and 70s and just click them off. I just need to find my rhythm within the first couple of laps, run within myself, and then hopefully knock it down those last couple of laps."

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